Curry led the team with 20 points, also dropping in 1 rebound and 4 assists on 6-for-7 shooting from the field and 4-for-5 from behind the arc. He also went 4-for-4 from the free throw line.
Despite playing just about 18 minutes after getting into foul trouble early, Curry came into the second half on a mission. He was hitting shots from all over the court — a.k.a., Curry being Curry — but his best play was this no-look, behind-the-back assist to James Harden in transition:
After the game, USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski told Curry that he was indeed on Team USA’s final roster headed to Spain for the FIBA Basketball World Cup.
Coach K to Steph: “Btw you’ve made the team.” They hug. Curry: “Now I know how my brother felt (making the Duke team).” #USABMNT
— LetsGoWarriors (@LetsGoWarriors) August 23, 2014
Thompson also had a nice highlight play and ended the first half with a running buzzer-beater from three-point territory:
He struggled late going 4-for-11 from the floor with all four of his made shots coming from deep. But, he played excellent defense most of the game, playing at three different positions during his time on the floor. Thompson’s ability to not only shoot but defend at a high level is likely the reason for Thompson possibly making the cut.
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, Coach K prefers to take just 12 players to Spain for their last exhibition game before the tournament begins. With Team USA’s next round of cuts coming this Saturday, Aug. 23, Thompson has emerged as one of Coach K’s favorites to make the final roster.
Coincidently, Aug. 23 is also the date marked for a potential Kevin Love trade, which will effectively send the Minnesota Timberwolves superstar to the Cleveland Cavaliers for 2014 first overall pick, Andrew Wiggins.
Thompson was rumored earlier this summer to have been part of a potential deal that would have brought Love to the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors opted to keep their core intact, the decision to keep Thompson in Golden State being a central factor.
There’s no denying the synergy between Curry and Thompson, each of them providing out-of-this-world shooting ability. Curry and Thompson have arguably been two of the best players on Team USA’s roster, with Harden and Anthony Davis also playing pivotal roles thus far.
Considering how influential Thompson has been to Team USA’s continued success, it seems as if Thompson will prove that he was worthy of being chosen over Love.
The #SplashBrothers are still in business, and neither FIBA nor the NBA are ready for them.